Ron Martinez was one of the most varied and thoughtful of all the interviewees for GET LAMP; years later, I keep finding things he did in the past, which he didn't jump to take credit for in the interview, and which shift in and out of his many biographies available on the internet. In the context of the movie, I was asking him questions around TRANS Fiction Systems, his interactive fiction company/development house and his work with Simon and Schuster - but spend any time looking him up, and... Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
In 2006 I was asked to speak about various subjects at the University of Advancing technology, a game design and computer programming school in Tempe, Arizona. At the time, I'd been looking for an excuse to get to Arizona to film an interview with Paul Panks, an interactive fiction writer known for his errant behavior and strange projects. Flown in for a few days during a week of presentations and panels, I tried to arrange our interview, but Panks proved elusive and ultimately the interview... Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
Robb Sherwin goes by a number of names and aliases, both in his capacity as IF author and as website curator. He has a deep interest in Interactive Fiction, and has created a collection of modern IF from 1999 onward, moving between Inform and HUGO languages, as well as simulating the Magnetic Scrolls style of half-graphic half-text IF. He has also given a presentation on IF with Paul O'Brian and is a talented writer in general. Sherwin's self-written biography, from a 2006 presentation he gave... Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
David Shaw is an alumnus of MIT who was attending around the same time as some of the students who would work on Zork and later Infocom. We were introduced at a Boston gaming event and I thought it would be informative to speak to someone present at the history of Infocom/Zork who was not a direct player - I was right. David talks about how he found out about the games, about the character of Steve Meretzky as college student, and about what he thought the various products Infocom came out with... Topics: GET LAMP, David Shaw
One of the more interesting methods I've used to attain interviews is to set up a camera at an event and invite random folks to come sit down and talk about the subject. While a lack of preparation and no previous arrangement means the interviews might not be as good as prepared events with known figures, there can often be insights or comments from the participants that would otherwise have never come to light. Such as it was with the PhreakNIC event in Nashville TN, a hacker convention held... Topics: GET LAMP, Zack Campbell
John Romero is probably best known as the co-founder of iD Software and co-creator of Doom and Quake (and Commander Keen). But his game experience extends back to the era of the Apple II and before. While reveling in the golden age of video games, his friend told him that there were games for free at the local college, and there they discovered the family of games now considered classics: Hunt the Wumpus, "Poison Cookie" and a game which turned out to be Adventure. He was inspired... Topics: GET LAMP, John Romero
It can be very harrowing to do interviews with one of the people responsible for the very thing your documentary is about, but in this case, it was a joy and a delight. Don Woods took the original ADVENT program by Will Crowther, added a bunch of features, puzzles, descriptions and other work, and then released it to the world, helping to spawn its continued 30 year success as a game and recreation for generations of computer users. While Will Crowther also had gaming elements in the program,... Topics: GET Lamp, Don Woods
A quick rush out the door at 9am, and I was on my way to Brunswick, Maine, to interview Chuck Benton, creator of the infamous adult text adventure game, "Softporn Adventure". I got there at 11:55, just a few hairs short of the appointed time. His company (which he founded) had recently moved to new digs in Brunswick, inside a renovated factory, and he had a great corner office overlooking a loud, thundery dam (which I took a picture of, both from my car and from his window). Lighting... Topics: Chuck Benton, Softporn, GET LAMP, Text Adventure
Mike Roberts is the creator of TADS (Text Adventure Development System), one of the most popular game development systems. As one of the creators of commercial text adventure products in the 1990s, his perspective was invaluable for understanding the waning context of these games at that time. TADS continues to be developed and is considered a nearest competitor to the Inform system. Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Roberts, Text Adventures, TADS
Bob Supnik represents a kind of interview I take great pride in: "Obscure, but critical". Even within text adventure circles, his name is not as well known as that of Don Woods, Willie Crowther, Scott Adams, or others. Yet Supnik holds an important place in the history of text adventures - while employed at DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), he found the engineers enthralled with Adventure, but wanted to be able to play the game on something other than a mainframe, which had all... Topics: GET LAMP, Bob Supnik, Zork, Adventure, ADVENT
From 2006-2008, director Jason Scott interviewed over 70 programmers, writers, academics and designers about text adventures and interactive fiction, that genre of computer game which dominated the early days of home computer and which has faded into a much smaller portion of the game world. Even though it is no longer at the forefront of gaming, the influence and breadth of the subject inspired Jason to track down as many of the original designers of these games as he could, as well as... Topics: GET LAMP, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction, Interviews
Several people had suggested I meet up with Mike Gentry - his work, Anchorhead, had itself turned a bunch of heads with its style, emotion, and approach. While one can never really tell what someone is "first" and "second", he seemed a great writer first who happened to use interactive fiction to tell one of his stories, not unlike Adam Cadre with Photopia. So we made an arrangement to meet in Virginia, at his home. You never know how things will turn out for any interview,... Topics: GET LAMP, Interview, Mike Gentry, Interactive Fiction, Text Adventures
One of the more common questions and statements made when I was discussing the production of GET LAMP was what role MUDs would play in the final work. MUDs, or Multi-User-Dimensions, or Multi-User-Dungeons (or Multi-Undergraduate Destroyers) were compelling, text-based worlds that took the world by storm starting in the 1970s and then attracting a mass of new adherents in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the introduction of many college students to the internet. Now, as it turns out, while... Topics: GET LAMP, Jim Aspnes, TinyMUD, Interview, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
When recording dozens of interviews for a documentary, a few are going to have notably less footage than the others, for no major reason other than time constraints and subject matter. While Mike Sousa is very scant in the GET LAMP movie and bonus features, he gave an excellent interview, the clips from which are finally available here. Mike Sousa's most notable feature to me that caused me to seek him out was his method of collaborating with other authors for most of his work; he'd worked with... Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Sousa, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction, Interviews
Scott Adams is considered one of the giants of adventure games, especially text-based adventures (The Scott Adams Grand Adventures (SAGA) series is especially cited). He is the founder of Adventure International, which sold software for a variety of platforms, mostly involving entertainment. This company grew wildly through the early 1980s but eventually went bankrupt in the inevitable industry shake-out, but should be considered one of the top "old-school" microcomputer software... Topics: GET LAMP, Scott Adams, Adventure International, Text Adventures
Interview with Warren Robinett for the GET LAMP documentary, conducted in San Jose on November 15, 2007. After multiple attempts to schedule an interview with Robinett, who travels frequently for his work, an opportunity came to interview him in California. Conducted at the home of Christian Wirth, Robinett answered a number of questions related to the creation of Adventure, an Atari 2600 game inspired by Crowther and Woods' Adventure. In creating the game, Robinett pioneered a number of... Topics: GET LAMP, Warren Robinett, Easter Egg, Atari, Adventure
Stephen Granade is one of the rare writers who was paid, for some amount of time, to write about Interactive Fiction regularly. While employed by about.com, he maintained a section on the subject, including links and essays. With the closure/ending of his time with about.com, he still had the rights to his works and used this as the foundation for a new site, Brass Lantern, which reviews and analyzes interactive fiction. Granade is also the current maintainer/organizer of The Annual IF... Topics: GET LAMP, Stephen Granade, Interview, IFcomp, Brass Lantern, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
Lance Micklus was one of my favorite experiences of all the interviews and production run of GET LAMP. As the founder of Lance Micklus, Inc., he was right there at the start of the computer game revolution, one of the small mom-and-pop software houses that put out games for computers, in his case mostly the TRS-80. His company had employees, put out a number of products that were advertised in magazines of the time, and he even did work with Scott Adams and Adventure International. The main... Topics: GET LAMP, Lance Micklus, Lance Micklus Associates, Text Adventure, TRS-80
"The Belatesode" Show Notes Segments: CEDs Part II Holiday Reviews Commodore 1702 "CEDs Part II" Shows the operation of several CED players including: RCA Selectavision SKT 200 RCA Selectavision SJT 100 RCA Selectavision SFT 100 Zenith CED VP2000 "Holiday Reviews" Reviews several items: - "From Betamax to Blockbuster" by Joshua Greenberg - "Phone Losers of America" by Brad Carter - Get Lamp DVD - Pure Pwnage Season One DVD and CD bundle - Liquid... Topics: iptv, retro, obsolete, CED, selectavision, commodore, svideo, commodore monitor, reviews, get lamp,...
(Enhanced version). Hear beautiful acoustic pop from Norway, ambient soundscapes from the soundtrack of GET LAMP, and SuBBrilliant News from Tom Merritt. Topics: podcast, music, indie rock, ambient, experimental, Mozomedia, Suspicious for the Winter, Tony...
Hear beautiful acoustic pop from Norway, ambient soundscapes from the soundtrack of GET LAMP, and SuBBrilliant News from Tom Merritt. Topics: music, podcast, mozomedia, indie rock, pop, ambient, Suspicious for the Winter, Tony Longworth, GET...
Graham Nelson and Emily Short talk about IF (interactive fiction, or text adventure games), at Oxford Brookes University in 2013. Graham introduces himself and his work, and demos the IF programming language Inform 7. Emily talks about her work with the IF app Versu. Further info: Inform 7 Versu "Transmedia" event Writeup of the "transmedia" event Topics: IF, interactive fiction, text adventures, text adventure games, Graham Nelson, Emily Short, talk,...
This is an archive of the first eleven episodes of the Awesome Text Adventure Gaming Podcast from 2013. In episode 12, the podcast took a sudden and unexpected turn: it stopped being a charmingly personal and amateurish discussion/interview show about text-adventure games, and instead became a puerile, tedious, and scatological "conversation" between two "personalities" that had nothing to do with text adventures or interactive fiction at all. What's baffling is that after... Topics: podcast, text adventure, adventure game, interactive fiction, IF, Marshal Tenner Winter, QBasic,...